Always Tired: 8 Toxic Habits That Drain Your Energy (+4 Energy-Givers)
Do you feel tired all the time? Have low energy and unsure of the cause? Some toxic habits and actions may contribute to this fatigue.
Discover eight energy drainers and four energy-giving strategies to help you adopt healthy habits in this post.
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8 toxic habits that may be your energy drainers
Uncovering these unhelpful habits is the first step to feeling better. As well as reducing burnout and avoiding unnecessary stress. Here are eight toxic habits that may drain your energy. And some pro tips on how to deal with them.
1. Worrying and overthinking
According to study findings, an adult brain weighs about three pounds or about 2% of overall body weight. Brain cells consume 20 to 25 percent of the body’s total energy. That sounds like a lot.
Now, let’s imagine how much mental energy additionally it takes to overthink and worry. During worrying and overthinking, our brain generates many thoughts and scenarios that aren’t going toward anything productive. And it makes us exhausted.
Instead: Focus on the present
To learn how to be more conscious of your current state, you can explore the concept of mindfulness. It is defined as the ability to be fully present. It also translates into more efficiency and decreased stress.
The most popular mindfulness practice method is to focus on the present by noticing how your hands move, smells, and sounds around you. And it is the complete opposite of being overwhelmed by disturbing thoughts.
Nowadays, society tells us we always have to be productive, equating our self-worth with success. Due to this, many people neglect their mental health and signs of low energy for high performance at work and pleasing their management. This can lead to burnout. And the inability to do any work altogether, including day-to-day tasks and acts of self-care.
Instead: Be intentional about work-life balance
To accomplish a desired balance between work and private life, try to set boundaries around your resources and be realistic about what you can achieve each day.
If you work from home, consciously log off your computer at a specific time each day and generally clock out on time.
Try to do what you like during your work-free time and pursue hobbies. Or spend time with loved ones. You will definitely feel more energetic after, and your body will produce the feel-good hormones necessary to keep you going.
Have you ever checked Facebook in the morning, drinking coffee while checking notifications? Then again, drank more coffee and checked your work e-mail all at the same time? Switching between many activities drains your energy and may even cause harm to your brain.
You may relate to the fact that when you multitask, your attention is divided, making you less productive and more prone to mistakes. Scientists proved that a person could keep up to 7 tasks in mind and deal with even fewer at once.
Instead: Establish a clear daily routine and make lists
Creating a daily routine brings stability, structure, discipline, balance, and energy to your life. It’s helpful to remember that setting the proper routine takes time as you experiment and figure out what works best for you.
When you have a list of tasks, you can do your work step by step without being distracted. Furthermore, those lists will allow you to avoid keeping everything in your mind, saving you energy and freeing it up for other tasks.
As a good example: if you don’t have time to complete a task right now, try putting it in a task manager, notes, or on a piece of paper.
4. Sleeping too little and eating unhealthy
Having sufficient energy throughout the day requires a good sleep schedule. The average adult needs between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night. However, many people get less than this. The result that can be expected is fatigue during the day and a compromised immune system.
Also, preparing nutritious meals can seem overwhelming when you’re feeling down. You may not even feel hungry anymore after skipping meals all day. Or seeking fast ways to tame your hanger. So you may start to eat unhealthy, like junk or frozen food, which is quick to prepare.
Instead: Practice good sleep hygiene and eat healthily
By implementing some changes to your sleep time routine, you can enjoy all the benefits of a good night’s sleep, such as reduced stress, improved memory, and increased energy throughout the day.
In addition to improving your physical and mental health with a good sleep routine, eating well is an excellent form of self-care.
5. Always checking social media
Online social media users are experiencing information overload due to instant access to vast information. Social media draws us to it because it triggers our reward system by giving us a feel-good dopamine rush. This results in a lot of time wasted on doom-scrolling.
Even though we cannot entirely give up on phones and social media nowadays, we can be more aware of our time and content quality consumption.
Instead: Adjust your relationship with social media
Rather than trying to fit your life into social media, you can design them to work around you and for you.
For example, try to put your phone away when you need to focus and turn off instant messengers and social network notifications. Or, you can track your time spent online and gradually reduce it.
Even if you’re still deciding to spend a lot of time scrolling your feed, you can also spend your time on social media efficiently. How? Choosing content that benefits your mental health improves your motivation and educates you in some way.
With the help of a therapist, you will be able to understand better why you feel the way you feel. And you will be equipped with the necessary tools to manage your emotions to lead a productive and fulfilling life.
6. Bottling up emotions
Bottling up or suppressing emotions means purposely and consciously not acknowledging, accepting, and processing them.
People can suppress their emotions when they don’t have healthy coping mechanisms. So they push down their true feelings or totally deny them. Unfortunately, they won’t disappear by the fact of denying them, and holding those emotions requires a vast amount of our mental energy.
Instead: Improve emotional intelligence skills
Emotional intelligence is all about making emotions — both your own and other people’s — work in your favor rather than against you. A person with improved emotional intelligence skills has high emotional awareness to be able to monitor emotions and identify them.
With the help of a therapist, you will be able to understand better why you feel the way you feel, and you will be equipped with the necessary tools to manage your emotions to lead a productive and fulfilling life.
7. Being stuck in unhealthy relationship patterns
Do you find yourself constantly putting others first, pleasing them to the point where it affects your well-being? Or are you staying in codependent relationships and experiencing gaslighting because you can’t bear to be alone or scared to answer back?
Unhealthy patterns in building and maintaining relationships are draining your energy. They also have a negative impact on your mind and body.
This way, you may be just investing your energy in making these relationships work instead of learning to nurture the ones that bring you joy and happiness with those who support you.
Instead: Learn how to break unhealthy behavior patterns and adopt healthy ones
Developing healthy behaviors and acknowledging your role in this process are the key to having healthy relationships. You can start by setting your boundaries and enforcing them. Let the person know you don’t like to be treated that way.
Also, emotional maturity can help you identify and avoid unhealthy relationship behavior patterns. Early identification of psychological triggers with therapy can help you predict and avoid unhealthy relationships, which may drain your energy.
A therapist will also assist you in identifying unhealthy relationship patterns, like understanding why you’re stuck in those relationships and breaking this cycle.
8. Being overly too self-critical
Let’s be honest, everyone has experienced awkward situations in life, e.g., forgetting to show up for an important appointment, being late to a job interview, or not showing the level of empathy that we should have.
But if you beat yourself up instead of learning from your mistakes, you might get into a habit of using negative self-talk. Similar to overthinking, negative self-talk can make you stuck in your head. And this drains your energy.
Instead: Practice self-compassion
Make yourself a priority by being gentle and compassionate with yourself. Remember that sometimes bad things happen, but you can always choose how to respond.
Being self-compassionate is linked with better well-being. It can improve your mood and boost your life satisfaction and energy level.
How long does it take to break a habit?
So, now you have some knowledge about toxic habits which drains your energy and some tips for overcoming them. But how difficult is it to break an old toxic habit, and how long does it take?
According to research, the habit-breaking process can take between 18 and 254 days.
If you’re trying to build healthier habits for mental health, commit to being consistent for just two months. And you’ll likely find that things become easier. In this article, we looked at how long it takes to build a new habit in detail.
Print out this Calmerry habit tracker to track new habits and your progress 👉🏼 Calmerry habit tracker
Habits to increase energy level
It can be challenging to build new habits, but the effort pays off in the form of changed behaviors. Below are some energy-givers that can help you to keep your life energy steady. And also grow your mental health skills.
1. Use affirmations
There are many ways to manage complex feelings and relieve anxiety, one of which is by using positive affirmations. Affirmations can be written on stickers and said out loud. Or listened to an audio record every day. Simply put, they’re positive statements you repeat to yourself regularly.
This article explored good examples of positive affirmations that help relieve anxiety. Positive affirmations are definitely an energy-giver strategy worth trying.
2. Track your mood
Self-reflection on your state and well-being is a tried-and-true method of self-care. By using a mood tracker, we become more experienced in examining our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions objectively as possible.
A simple daily check-in at a specific time may be enough. But it’s essential to be consistent and consciously record your mood regularly. You should also be honest and record both negative and positive feelings to get an overall look at your mood patterns.
Reflection Bot by Calmerry is a tool that helps you better understand your emotional states. And develop strategies for combating negative feelings. It’s free for everyone – you can use it as a part of your self-care routine. You can share your entries with your therapist.
3. Practice journaling
From cave paintings to modern bestsellers in bookstores, throughout history, humans have been natural storytellers. Journaling is one of the most powerful tools we have for engaging in self-discovery.
It helps identify issues that are kept hidden within our minds but have the potential to affect our well-being and drain energy negatively. So making the time and space for journaling is a profound demonstration of self-care. Moreover, it can help increase your self-awareness and enhance your emotional intelligence.
4. Try therapy – it can be your empowering habit
Healthy mental health habits can help everyone improve their well-being, productivity, sense of balance, and motivation. If you’re looking for mental health support, therapy can be that energy-giver tip to help you.
Online therapy on Calmerry allows you to connect with a professional from the comfort of your own home. A therapist can help you make your bad habits list to work on. And help you to build healthy habits and make your journey to sticking to your new goals enjoyable.
Tanya is a content writer with a solid background in psychology and social work. As a social worker, she worked in Syrian refugee communities in Turkey. As a psychologist, she worked in public schools and special education centers for children. Tanya is combining a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and MD in Social work with writing well-being articles to help people get to know themselves better.Read more